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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  April 16, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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destruction that tore through the historic city of boston. >> very serious injuries. three people have died. more than 140 people were wounded. >> it's a spielberg horror movie, but it was real. >> any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act after terror. >> we removed pellets and nails. there are people who have 10, 20, 30, 40 of them in their body. >> there were just families all around us. >> i was carrying somebody who lost both of their legs. >> if you want to know who we are, how we respond to evil, that's it. selflessly, compassionately, unafraid. just over 24 hours after the
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horrifying tragedy, the hunt is on for who is behind twin bombings at the boston marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170. a mile square area around boston's copley square is now what boston police describe as the most complex crime scene in the history of their department. what we do know is that two bombs blew up about 15 seconds apart at the finish line of the race, scattering runs and spectators in a complete scene of pandemonium. the powerful force shattered windows? redded clothing, and the human toll utterly horrific. the blast tore off limbs and left three people dead. among them an 8-year-old boy, martin richard, whose mom and sister were also badly injured. we are just learning this afternoon the name of the second victim that was killed. 29-year-old krystle campbell is among nothose who had their liv tragically cut short. the president led an event honoring the 2012 nascar champion with remarks about the tragedy in boston. >> we mourn the victims.
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we pray for their loved ones. and rest assured, as i said today, and will continue to say until it gets done, we're going to uncover whoever it is that was responsible for yesterday's cowardly act. we're going to find out why they did it, and they will be brought to justice. >> and as authorities put out the call for photo, video, any information to help lead to the perpetrators, we are learning more about just how the explosives were made. law enforcement officials familiar with the case say they appear to have consisted of an explosive and shrapnel backed inside a pressure cooker, probably triggered by some kind of timer. if that is the case, we have seen this before. one of the three devices used in the 2010 attack in times square incorporated a pressure cooker containing approximately 120 fire crackers. a soldier, nazir abdul, convicted last year of plotting an attack at ft. hood, texas, was using a bomb-making recipe from an al qaeda-linked online magazine that used a pressure
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cooker. in july of 2006, more than 130 died in a series of attacks on the mumbai transit system with pressure cooker explosives placed on the trains. the department of homeland security has warned of the potential terrorist use of pressure cookers saying "as a common cooking utensil, the pressure cooker is often overlooked when searching vehicles, residences, or merchandise crossing the u.s. borders." now, of course, there's still much more that authorities want to know about this particular case. and for the very latest on the investigation, we're joined now by nbc news justice correspondent pete williams from washington. so, pete, the very latest on the pressure cooker scenario that you're hearing? >> right. as you say, used for decades in terms of building bombs, so that's not going to be an area of inquiry that will immediately lead them in a certain direction, because the instructions, unfortunately, for making these devices are all over internet. just last month, the al qaeda online magazine "inspire" repeated an article that showed
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how to build pressure cooker bombs. so they've been out there for a long time. the part, the components of this device appear not to be very fancy. in addition to that, there were shrapnel, ball bearings, bbs, from the sound of the doctors you heard at the beginning of your program, apparently nails as well. and then for the explosive basically gun powder, smokeless powder that's commonly available in sporting goods stores. so all these pieces are easily available. some kind of timer as well. then placed in black sacks and put in two different spots. so what investigators say as the devices, themselves, are crude, but they were obviously very effective that whoever built them was able to get them both to go off. now, you're looking at the forensic people there on the ground. they put these little markers down to show where they found certain items. each has a number that corresponds to a log that they keep. here's an interesting statistic to think about, thomas. investigators say that under the
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right conditions, they can recover 93% to 98% of a bomb that goes off because the pieces, while they spread out, are not consumed in the explosion. yes, the ploexplosive is consum but not the pieces, themselves. they may be bent and broken, but they're out there. these experienced bomb people know what they're looking for. a piece you or i might think nothing of, they'll say, ah-ha, that's a part of a battery or timer or something else. so that's the work that's going on there now. but the other thing that's quite interesting about this is is the repeated requests for pictures. the boston police commissioner said this morning that that area at the finish line was probably the most photographed spot in america yesterday. and they are getting a huge response. one official tells us that they've received three terrabites of video. we asked our computer people to give us a rough approximation of that. they said low-resolution video
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like you find on youtube, it would be 25,000 hours or 2 million still pictures. now probably the video is of different resolutions so it's undoubtedly not that much. but it just gives you some idea that people are responding in a big way to this request for pictures. and investigators were out at logan airport in boston today asking people as they leave, were you there at the marathon? do you have any pictures? so that is a very serious part of this investigation. and it's going to be a big chore to analyze it all, but they say they will look at all after it. >> yeah, when we think about this, pete, the fact there could have been thousands of victims, now those people are all turned into potential witnesses and the material they could have, that could really unlock this case. nbc's pete williams reporting from washington. pete, thank you, sir, i appreciate it. joining me in new york, don berelli who investigated the oklahoma city bombings, u.s. embassy attacks in 1998 and bombing of the "u.s.s. cole" in 2000 in yemen. as you're hearing from pete's
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ror i reporting, we're learning more about the type of explosive devices used, material used inside, ball bearings, nails to be used as projectiles to create mass damage and mass casualties. does this depict to you from what we've learned and from what your experience kidictates that this would be a work of a foreign terrorist group? >> this has the flavor more of a homegrown type event. i say that, because as pete said, the information on how to make this device, crude, but effective, but it's on the internet. it's readily available to people that don't have formal training. as opposed to what we saw with the attempted subway plot bombing in 2009 with naji bullizazi. a different method. he was making tatp out of hydrogen peroxide. that took a fair amount of training in which we traveled
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overseas to obtain that training, come back and use it here. that's the only reason i say this has more of a flavor of a homegrown, but certainly it's too early to say with certainty that this is absolutely a homegrown or absolutely a foreign -- a lot of work to be done. >> you talk about how easy it is to find out this information online. we have that case of nazir abdul, convicted of plotting an attack on ft. hood, this is after the mass shooting that happened there. he learned about how to do this from an al qaeda magazine. how simple it would be to do this. so does that strike you as being someone that would work more as a lone wolf? even though these were -- at least these two devices were strategically placed not that far apart? >> well, unfortunately right now, i mean, it just -- just about every case i was involved in, whether it was a lone wolf or people acting, you know, in small groups or whatever, the internet played a part in it because there is so much information both in terms of radicalizing people and teaching them these skills that, you
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know, before they had to travel to learn. now it's available on the internet. and i'm not -- i'm not saying that leaning toward the fact that this is an islamic-type event. i'm just saying the internet plays a factor in just about every terrorism case the fbi sees nowadays. >> what do you think about the initial reports we were hearing about certain suspicious packages or potentially other devices that were found? and now today that's all been walked back? should we be more suspicious anding aiand asking more questions about what has been found on the scene potentially? because this could have been a lot worse if there were more explosive device found. >> well, and any major crime scene like this, there's going to be a lot of information. people are scrambling to get their hands on the facts as soon as possible. and i think maybe it was just some semantics. as i understand it, there were a number of render safe procedures done an suspicious packages, and
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maybe the terminology "suspicious package" was used or not used instead of device, or they should have been, you know, flip-flopped. >> the investigators will be looking in casualty-producing areas. this wouldn't be things that were dropped because of the mayhem created because of the explosions. they would be specifically looking in areas that would have caused the most damage. >> sure. and the bomb technicians are, you know, they go through a lot of training. they have a lot of specialty equipment by which they can analyze a suspicious package including x-rays and different things. then eventually they get to the point if, you know, they're not sure and they just feel like the safest way to deal with this is to render it safe by shooting with a water cannon. so that's at the end of the day, you know, their decision to make. >> tom borelli, thanks so much for being here. i appreciate it. i want to check in with msnbc's chris jansing, host of "jansing and company." she's been reporting from boston and joins us. chris, this morning, we had the
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fact they were able to solidify the complex area, as they called it, from 15 blocks to 12 blocks, now over 24 hours later, what is the scene now? i mean, we can see the police are still behind you. >> reporter: yeah, and that whole area is cordoned off with the yellow police tape and there's a heavy police presence both there and around this city which obviously is very subdued. this is not the kind of post-marathon day people would expect. people come from nearly 100 countries to run in this event, and there's often a celebration, you know, just that they finished. most of these are not elite runners. they're people like you and me who have done a personal accomplishment. i think the thing we've seen here, though, thomas, today, in addition to the police presence is the other side of this. how the community is coming together. there are a number of church services that are planned for tonight and tomorrow. some groups have begun fund-raising for the victims, and the other thing we've seen is an awful lot of people around here wearing those yellow and
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blue shirts who are doing it as a sign of solidarity. when you talk to those runners, almost to a person, they will tell you they intend to come back next year as a sign of support, not just for the victims but for this city and for this iconic race that is so important to boston, thomas. >> chris, as you bring up the victims, we're learning more about the precious 8-year-old boy who lost his life and now more about the 29-year-old woman who was killed yesterday. what more do we know about them? >> reporter: thomas, i literally just got a statement from the school of 8-year-old martin richard. now, i'll just read a little bit of it for you. they said "he was a bright, energetic young boy who had big dreams and high hopes for his future. we are heartbroken by this loss. we are also praying for his mother, denise, our school librarian, and his sister, jane, another neighborhood house charter student, who was seriously injured." he was in third grade. his sister was in first grade. and his father has also issued a statement. and his father said, "my dear
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son martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on boston. my wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. we thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met for their thoughts and prayers." the mother, she sustained a serious head injury and we understand she went through brain surgery last night. the little girl reportedly lost a leg. the father is a director of a local community group, really beloved in that area and obviously asked people for their prayers as well as privacy. we learned later today the second of the three people killed, 29-year-old krystle campbell, she was a local restaurant manager, had gone to the race with her best friend to cheer on another friend who was running. her father absolutely devastated and understandably so, and some friends who put together a tribute page said "krystle
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campbell had a million-dollar smile and gorgeous bright red hair." her friend at the race with her suffered serious injuries. these are the kinds of stories coming out. the two brothers who survived but each lost a leg just below the knee, in a very close-knit family of seven. so these are the kinds of things that are bringing people in this community together to support these families, to support the victims, and to say that they're not going to be bowed by this, thomas. >> chris jansing reporting from thomas. chris, thank you. coming up next, the first responders, often runners, themselves. stay with us. > . >> it's out of tragedy that we grow stronger. i know that sounds so hollow to say to you now. i remember my mother saying after i lost my wife and daughter. with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please.
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three dead and at least 176 injured after monday's boston marathon attack. yet those numbers don't fully convey the scars many of the survivors will carry with them for the rest of their lives. hospitals treating the wounded have collectively reported at least ten amputations. and the "boston globe" is reporting two brothers as well as a 9-year-old girl each have lost a leg. moments ago, nbc's kerry sanders caught up with massachusetts governor deval patrick who had this to say. >> really incredible stories of resilience and even triumph, which is not in some ways what you expect. >> do you hear anger? >> no. >> does that surprise you? >> for the very latest now we want to check in with nbc's kerry sanders who's in boston at
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tuft's medical center. it's always surprising when we look at the video and see people rushing in to help. i'm always emboldened by that behavior and i think that it shows the resilience of the american people and the american spirit and you talking with the governor there saying he's always surprised by people, i think, that most people would be surprised the families and loved ones aren't expressing anger right now. >> reporter: and it surprises me. probably why i asked the question of the governor as he was exiting. you know, those who make the decision to run toward something, those especially who are just civilians may surprise themselves. it's not until you're in that exact moment of crisis that you make that decision. you may want to sit back and think you can make that decision, but it's not until it's unfolding you can really test your own meddle to determine whether you are that person who goes there where something happens. and truly some amazing stories. you know, you talked about the individuals. let's give you some statistics, and sometimes statistics can sound like they're just a jumble of numbers but these are raw
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numbers that really put this into perspective. the wounded, the victims were taken to six area hospitals here. there are now currently 72 patients still in those hospitals. there were 19 brought here to tuft's. there are now nine here. good news. ten have been released. boston medical, reporting they had five amputations there. this morning at binghampton's women, three with threatened limbs. could be more amputations there. over at mass general, they have seven in critical condition and at least four had amputations there. over at mass general hospital, the patients not only suffered extensive wounds but also burns. so it's going to be very long for those who are recovering for this physically. i spent some time here today speaking to two of the victims and, of course, there is the psychological battle of coming back, too. the sense of just not feeling safe when they're out among a
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large group of people, thomas. >> kerry sanders reporting in boston for us. kerry, thank you. you know, some of the first medical professionals to respond to the chaos monday also happened to be jogging in the marathon. one of them is joining us now. he is dr. shawl, an orthopedic surgeon in roxbury crossing, mass. it's good to have you with us. will you explain first off, set the scene. what was it like as you were approaching the race before the explosions? >> this is my fifth boston marathon, so i was excited to be finishing and i was feeling good, and i heard the first explosion and we, myself and other runners thought it was something that was part of the marathon until we heard the second explosion. and when all the runners and spectators started to run toward us, we knew something was wrong. >> dr. shah, that's when obviously you probably kicked into a different degree of your training, medical training.
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you started to run toward the injured. what did you see? >> i ran toward the injured partly because it's just in my dna i guess from all the training we get also because my family was there and i was worried about them. what i saw when i got there i can't say i've ever seen before which is just massive casualties. and just a number of people with legs amputated and the look in people's eyes that they were really just in shock. >> dr. shah, as an orthopedic surgeon, what was the treatment that you started to provide to these injured? because obviously you're just in your marathon clothes. you don't have your natural hospital setting and surroundings, the materials that you normally need. so what were you using to help these people? >> people were using their marathon long sleeve shirts. the thing that was amazing was i was only 25 yards away and by
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the time i got there, the first responders, the volunteer physicians, were already there. so i've never really seen a response as quick as what i saw yesterday. >> you said that this is your fifth marathon. in hind sight, i mean, thinking back on this, i mean, this was a perfectly beautiful day. there's nothing in your memory that seems odd or out of place, correct? >> nothing that i could remember. it's the most beautiful marathon day that i've had in the five that i've run. >> and do you think you'll return to run again? >> so i promised my family that this would be my last boston marathon, but it seems like maybe one more is in order to pay tribute to those who lost someone or who have a long way to recover after today. so we'll see. >> dr. shah, your family, you were able to find them, everybody was okay, correct? >> yeah, they were just on the other side of where the explosions went off, so they're
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all safe. i'm grateful for that. >> dr. shah, we're thankful for that as well and grateful for you joining us and you being on the scene to help the people you were able to help. thank you, sir. >> thank you. coming up, we're going to speak to one of the trauma surgeons who continued the work that dr. shah had started. stay with us. so if you want to know who we are, what america is, how we respond to evil, that's it. selflessly, compassionately, unafraid. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours. everybody has different ideas, goals, appetite for risk. you can't say 'one size fits all'. it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different. ishares core. etf building blocks for your personalized portfolio.
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there's been an explosion at the finish line of boston marathon. >> a large catastrophic explosion. >> small improvised explosive devices. >> let's go live and listen to president obama address the nation. >> we do have new numbers on wounded. over 100,000. >> white house official, "any event with multiple explosive devide v device as this appears to be a clearly an act after terror." >> the most common injuries are bone and tissue injuries. >> they really don't have a direction one way or another as to who did this. >> we're watching this city bring its assets together. >> it is tuesday, april 16th. >> obviously the city is still in a state of shock. >> everyone wants to make implicati implications. we don't though. the white house doesn't know. >> in terms of suspects, right now there is no one in custody. >> heavy security today not only in boston. >> the president saying today this is being investigated as an act of terror. >> explosive devices containing ball bearings. >> they are crudely made.
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they appear to have been assembled inside a pressure cooker. >> we're just emerging now from the first 24 hours following that deadly bombing in the boston marathon. authorities are still on the scene there. take a look. they continue the coordinated effort by the federal, state and local levels. in the search for clues that could lead to the person or persons responsible for this deadly act of cowardice. we're joined by michael isikoff, nbc's national investigative correspondent. michael, we reported the police visited an apartment in revere, massachusetts, last night, an apartment of a man who was injured in the explosion yesterday. he's reportedly in the country on a student visa. we all know boston is a magnet for students from around the world because of the wonderful colleges and universities they have there. but does this help with such a large body of people from around the world coming into boston, does this help police and authorities try to get a clue on what they're looking for?
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>> well first of all, thomas, from everything we know, that lead last night washed out. i was actually there at 2:00 in the morning. federal agents had gone into that building, questioned two of the foreign nationals who lived in that apartment and left with some evidence, but made no arrests and there's no indication that they are suspects at this point. in fact, we've learned some things today. we've learned some information about the bombs. they were pressure cooker bombs wrapped in -- concealed in knapsacks or duffel bags. about 75 to 100 yards apart. they were detonated within 12 seconds of each other. but we have no information about any leads, any active leads on any suspects. there's been no arrests. and what's particularly striking about this investigation at this point is these repeated requests from top federal law enforcement officials including the attorney
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general of the united states for any video, any cell phone pictures that were taken from the scene to help investigators try and find the suspect, piece together what happened. they've gone to such unusual lengths on this that i'm reporting -- we were just told that i.c.e. agents, immigrations custom enforcement agents are at logan airport today questioning travelers leaving the city. airplane passengers. asking them if they have any of these cell phone videos or pictures before they leave the city. that's a tactic i haven't seen before and it shows the lengths to which they're going to try to find any footage that can be helpful in this case because right now from everything we've been told, they have no active leads, certainly nobody in custody. >> you know, it's really interesting to think there are all these different accidental witnesses that might have material on their cell phones or videocameras that could really be a linchpin lead to police not even realizing it. so it's interesting that they're
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doing that. is that out of an abundance of caution, michael, or the fact they realize this is such a highly public event that any one of the people in the vicinity could have something meaningful on their phones? >> yeah, just by logic, itself, there were a lot of people who would have been in contact with the perpetrator or perpetrators. it was a public event. there were thousands of people there. so, you know, that tells investigators there are people out there who have seen something and may not realize they saw something. they may not have realized those cell phone pictures they took or videos have the perpetrators in it. but that's why they so desperately want to see everything they can to piece together and try and find that suspect. they're looking as it were for the zobruder film. this -- >> sure. >> -- of this bombing. zobruder being the individual who took the footage of the john f. kennedy's assassination. >> michael, one thing, we were
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looking at the shot back there on the scene of the boston marathon, and there are investigators that are still there combing through some of the debris piles. from what i understand, there has been bomb material recovered. it's going to be sense t to thei labs in quantico. they feel confident with the material that's left behind from these devices that they can reconstruct them and then compare them to other materials that have been found around the globe? >> that's certainly one thing they're going to be looking for, and the bomb experts here from all around the country have been flown in by the fbi, by atf. have had lots of experience with these things. and know the signature of various types of bombs. and they're going to be looking for comparisons to these pressure cooker bombs to see if may match up with bombs that have been used elsewhere. i'm told the pressure cooker bombs were used in the mumbai attack in india a few years ago. they were used in a bombing by
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croatian nationals in new york city in the 1970s. it's not very common, but they have been used before. one big question still outstanding is are they looking for one perpetrator or two? i'm told that bombs like this, in backpacks, would weigh something around 30, 35 pounds. so if you've got two bombs that need to be placed 100 yards away from each other, that's fairly bulky, fairly bulky for one person to do. not impossible, but could be conspicuous. so that is still a very big outstanding question. are we looking, are investigators looking for one suspect or multiple suspects? >> michael isikoff reporting from boston. michael, thanks so much. when want to turn to jessica stern, fellow at the harvard school of public health. good to have you here. as we're hearing from michael
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and the report i'm getting about the bomb material recovered being sent on to quantico for the fbi to evaluate there, we do know that the items inside, the nails, the ball bearings, bbs used to create the chaos and the injuries, they've also been used in previous attacks. so does that help give any insight into who may have initiated this attack? or is that information just so widely accessible via the internet that it really does provide a lot of cover to whoever may have put this together? >> well, a recipe for creating this kind of bomb was actually published in al qaeda in the arabian peninsula online magazine known as "inspire." and a couple terrorist wannabes were inspired by that al qaeda's call for individuals to carry out their own jihad in america and try to detonate these bombs.
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it's also important to recognize that the recipe was shared and lauded by storm front, which is a neonazi website. the idea of leaderless, which comes out of the far right neonazi patriot movement also spread over to al qaeda-related groups. so it's hard to say. it's a technology that is of interest to terrorists who want to make their own bombs of any stripe. >> but does it look, when we think about a formal terrorist group, and the sophistication that it would use, does this lend itself to that style of sophistication? i mean, when we talk about pressure cooker bombs, it seems
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kind of crude. >> yes. so my guess is that this probably is a do-it-yourselfer kind of individual or individuals, perhaps a small group. either one that was inspired by al qaeda or perhaps neonazis or anti-government patriot groups who have been known to act on patriots day. so the date of the attack suggests that we not overlook the possibility that this could be an american anti-government group. although the type of bomb has most recently been attempted by american jihadists, allegedly promoting al qaeda's vision. >> it still leaves a lot of people wondering where the lead is going to come from that's going to start the investigators on the right trail to find
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whoever did this. our thanks to dr. jessica stern. thanks for being here. i appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up next, martin bashir with reaction from around the world on this terrible act. much more. stay with us. we will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice. we also know this. the american people refuse to be terrorized. [ female announcer ] crest plus scope celebrates the daring ones. for him, who dares to get in the picture.
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prime minister margaret thatcher. so martin, have you noticed an increased security presence in and around london because of yesterday's attacks? >> well, thomas, this week has already been marked by heightened security due to baroness thatcher's funeral service tomorrow morning and london marathon this coming sunday. 4,000 police officers will be working in london tomorrow. many of the major roads into the city will be closed from early in the morning. and even before the horrific events in boston, the british government had actually set the terrorism threat level here at substantial which means that a terrorist attack is regarded as a strong possibility. it's also worth noting that for a nation that doesn't normally arm its police officers, there are plenty of armed law enforcement at strategic positions right throughout the city in preparation, as i say, for tomorrow's ceremony. in terms of tomorrow's funeral service, the casket containing the body of the former prime minister arrived at the palace
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of westminister earlier today and is currently resting in a small chapel. there was a short service for family and close friends led by the dean of westminister. i spoke to officials at the metropolitan police earlier today and they stressed vigilance but also confidence that all possible security measures are in place for tomorrow's service. keeping in mind that every level of the british establishment will be present in st. paul cathedral, from her majesty the queen, prime minister, foreign heads of state and international dignitaries. >> certainly they expect that to go off without interruption, martin. though some are looking at the next big athletic event, as we mentioned, the london marathon, and talking about whether or not it should be canceled. have you heard anything to that effect or talks about heightened security surrounding it? >> yeah, there has been some talk of that, but it was quickly dismissed by the london marathon
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organizing committee. in fact, far from canceling sunday's race, the london marathon is expected to feature tributes to those killed and injured in boston's race yesterday. and we've just learned that runners will wear a black ribbon on their arms and observe 30 seconds of silence before the race begins in honor of those killed in boston. and don't forget that london hosted a spectacular successful and entirely safe olympic games last summer. the chief of london's police has said that he is reviewing all the security arrangements for sunday's race. and the government sports minister, hugh robertson, has said that the best way to show solidarity with those who were subjected to such a horrific attack yesterday is to stage another successful london marathon. and so that's what we hear is going to happen this coming sunday. >> all right. so martin, if we go back to the funeral, though, let's talk about some of the guests and those attending representing the
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united states. who's going to be there? >> well, we had been led to believe that former secretary of state hillary clinton would be attending. that's now not the case. the president's official delegation will be led by george schultz and james baker whom served as secretaries of state during margaret thatcher's premiership. speaker john boehner is sending representatives marsha blackburn, michele bachmann and george holding. interestingly, prime minister david cameron is hosting a private dinner at this very moment in number 10 downing street, and in attendance is one former vice president dick cheney which i guess reveals where he stands in relation to his conservative counterparts over there in the united states. >> and now where was your dinner invitation, martin? why aren't you at that dinner right now? >> i haven't achieved that kind of statuses yet, thomas. i'm waiting for an invitation from you. let alone from the prime
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minister. >> we will do dinner when you come back. martin bashir, live in london. thanks so much, appreciate it. coming up next, we go back to boston, a city the president praised for its toughness. stay with us. >> the people of boston will continue to respond in the same proud and heroic way they have thus far, and their fellow americans will be right there with them.
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we have an update now on one of the more horrific photos from the boston marathon attack. josh ballman sr., has written the following message on his facebook page saying thank you for all your thought and prayers. they did help greatly. unfortunately, my son was in the wrong place at the wrong time. he had to have both lower limbs removed to the extensive vascular and bone damage. officials believe the explosive charge in the pressure cooker
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bomb could propel shrapnel including ball bearings and bbs at speeds up to 3,300 feet per second. that's more than three times the speed of a .9 millimeter round fired from a pistol. joining me, one of the men who helped treat the victims of these attacks. dr. allister khan, chief of emergency service at massachusetts general hospital. doctor, good to have you with me. i understand a member of your staff has experience in war zones such as afghanistan and iraq. is that correct? >> that's correct. one of our trauma surgeons has served in the military, continues to serve in the military and served in both iraq and afghanistan. >> dr. conn, how did they respond to seeing these injuries? these looked like war injury, war wounds. >> they were and they are. all of the trauma service, these type of injuries, but obviously this one individual who has served was much more familiar. he'd seen this many, many tims s
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and he, again, with colleagues helped in taking a lot of these patients to the operating theater. >> dr. conn, talk about the types of shrapnel you and your colleagues have found in these patients. >> i was amazed when i first saw the x-rays and the cat scans of the patients that came in how many very small ball bearings we were seeing in these wounds. and we immediately thought, well, probably these were included in whatever device that we heard exploded in copley square. this was confirmed at surgery. also small portions of metal a bit like nails with the head cut off were also removed and obviously given immediately to the fbi and the appropriate authorities for investigation. >> dr. conn, at your news conference this morning, you discussed some of the amputations. four had been performed at that time. have you performed more? and is there potential that some
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of the other patients might lose a limb? >> we hope not. the majority of the severe injuries were in the lower extremities. one of the patients did require vascular reconstruction, repairing the blood vessels of the lower extremity. we hope that patient will be able to retain their lower limb. and the other patients, the more severe ones, have suffered devastating injuries but we're hopeful that none of these other patients other than the four who've already had amputations will require amputation. we're hopeful we have saved all of these limbs. >> doctor, were you surprised by how effectively you've been able to help these people? the people that were so injured and to make sure that there wasn't a larger loss of life, especially when you talk about the lower extremity injuries and the fact, you know, just nicking an artery could cause someone to
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bleed out. >> yes. surprisingly only three patients succumbed during this event. we're very fortunate in boston that we have several level 1 trauma centers, and the boston ems crews did a fabulous job so that not all of the severely injured patients were taken to one hospital. that makes no sense. so to a certain extent, no one hospital was overloaded. we were able to send five critical patients very soon after arrival to the emergency department up to the operating room. we had five operating teams immediately. we'd obviously stopped elective surgery to prepare for these patients. and that distribution of the severely injured patients amongst several hospitals i think made a difference. i would also say the blood pressure of one particular patient on arrival was very low, and the response time from the
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scene to arriving to us and then in the operating room was extremely fast. and if it had been delayed a little bit longer, i wonder if we wouldn't have seen more people pass away. >> dr. alasdair conn, we thank you and all your colleagues and work you've been doing in boston. thank you, sir. we're going to be back with more after this. >> thank you. he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap.
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